Every week, Hendrik Laubscher will be providing third party sellers with a selection of news stories that they need to be aware of. As a Prosper Show participant we strive to ensure that you focus on your business. This past week was a quiet one in the US marketplace space as businesses start with the final phase of festive season planning (It is 1 August after all).

Amazon is offering a new service that will make life easier for start-up founders. Amazon Launchpad, announced on Tuesday, creates an “Amazon Launchpad store” that will showcase start-up products and provide the makers with marketing and distribution support. Quirky, Kickstarter and Indiegogo have a new competitor inside their industry. This is Amazon leveraging their good brand name and customer trust to disrupt another industry. This also leverages customer feedback to ensure that the products funded are of good quality. Sign up here for the Launchpad programme. Read more here.

Etsy has more than 30 million items for sale from more than one million sellers globally. There are no SKUs, and most of the data is unstructured, creating a messy and massive discovery challenge for both Etsy and its users. Accordingly the company is today rolling out more sophisticated search functionality, after a month-long beta test in which it saw increased engagement from both desktop and mobile users. Etsy has one of the most complicated data sets that they need to manicure to provide a good buyer experience. Add this to a mobile device and suddenly the process is even more problematic. Etsy, I believe has taken the right angle on this and have developed a specific search engine for mobile that will ensure that a better experience. I would recommend that third party sellers keep an eye on their data for the next 4 weeks to see what the impact of this change is. Read more here.

Retailers including Wal-Mart, Sears and Amazon have agreed to halt the sales of realistic-looking toy guns in New York and pay over $300,000 in penalties, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Monday. Schneiderman’s office found that five retailers and their third-party sellers sold over 6,400 toy guns from 2012 to 2014 that violated New York laws. Most of the toys were sold online. This highlights the importance of following the listing criteria of a particular category on any marketplace. As a marketplace seller it is of critical importance that you are 100% informed of the listing requirements that every marketplace on which you sell on. Read more here.

Until next week. Onwards.